Doctors don’t like the mergers of health insurers — and in particular, the nation’s largest health insurers. The Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana mergers will — says the American Medical Association (AMA) — impact competition.
AMA President Dr. Steven Stack said the mergers impact 154 metropolitan areas in 23 states. “A lack of competition in health insurer markets is not in the best interests of patients or physicians. If a health insurer merger is likely to erode competition, employers and patients may be charged higher than competitive premiums, and physicians may be pressured to accept unfair terms that undermine their role as patient advocates and their ability to provide high-quality care,” he said.
The physician’s association thinks the mergers violate anti-trust statutes.
Mergers or not, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final details of those who received health insurance coverage via the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). The number — as of June 30 — is 9.9 million.
That’s below the 2014 numbers but higher than the 10.2 million the Obama administration predicted at the end of March. Here are more details:
• 84% of the 9.9 million got a government subsidy to purchase coverage.
• The average subsidy is $270 a month.
The below predicted numbers and the low number of healthy people signing up for ObamaCare is causing insurers to jack up health insurance rates. Regulators around the nation are loathe to let this happen but in most cases must.
Two PIA Western Alliance states — Oregon and Idaho — are among those seeing the biggest increases. Oregon residents can expect a 25.6% hike. Those in Idaho using Blue Cross will see a 23% jump.
The biggest increase in the nation is in Tennessee where residents can expect a 36.3% increase.
Source links: insurancejournal.com, Employee Benefit Advisor, Insurance Business America